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What are the Common Printheads for UV Printers?

The choice of printhead plays a significant role in determining print quality, speed, and overall performance when using UV printers as part of your business. Printheads are the key components responsible for jetting UV-curable ink onto various substrates, ranging from signage and packaging to promotional items and decorative materials.  How to choose a printhead for your UV printer? Let’s delve into the common printheads used in UV printers and explore their pros and cons.

Ricoh GEN5/GEN6 Printheads

Ricoh printheads represent precision, excellent colors, complete supporting facilities, and the highest cost performance. Ricoh printheads have been widely used in UV printers since 2013. They are currently recognized as the best printheads in industrial machines. It is used in more than 70% of imported machines abroad. Ricoh printheads combine the precision of Epson printheads and the speed of Seiko printheads, making them the best choice for high-end products. The life of Ricoh printheads is 1-2 years and their price ranges from 8,000 to more than 10,000.

KM1024I/KM1024A Printhead

Konica printheads belong to the second level of printheads and are mainly suitable for outdoor wide-width advertising. Konica printheads have large nozzles and thick ink dots, which are suitable for printing patterns that do not require precision. It should be noted that when purchasing a UV printer with a Konica printhead, internal heating is more stable and durable than external heating. The price of Konica sprinkler heads is around 9,000 to 20,000.

Kyocera KJ4A Series Printhead

In the field of UV printing, Kyocera printheads are now evaluated as the fastest and most expensive printheads. Judging from the market performance, there are mixed reviews. In terms of accuracy, it has indeed reached a new level. In terms of color performance, it is not very good. There are not many inks currently available for the matching ink. The speed requires the smoothness of the ink, and the accuracy requires finer ink droplets. The higher the technical requirements, the higher the cost, plus the cost of the printhead itself. Today, there are also few manufacturers, which drives up the price of the complete machine.

Seiko 1024GS Printhead

The Seiko series printheads have always been controlled at the extreme system and were very successful in their application in inkjet printers. However, when they switched to the UV market, they were not so smooth and were completely overshadowed by Ricoh’s limelight. The Seiko 508GS printhead and Seiko 10214GS printhead currently being promoted are good printheads, with improved accuracy and speed that can compete with Ricoh series printheads. Only one manufacturer is using this nozzle, so there are not many players in the market, and the information consumers can receive is limited. They do not know enough about the performance and performance of this printhead, which also affects the choice of customers.

American Starfire SG1024 Printhead

The Starfire 1024 printhead is the darling of the inkjet market. It is an epoch-making printhead product launched by FUJIFILM Dimatix. The Starfire 1024 printhead adopts RediJet internal circulation technology, variable ink droplet technology, detachable repair structure, and high-density nozzle design. It can meet almost all kinds of high-standard industrial inkjet printing needs. At the same time, as the first repairable printhead, every part of the Starfire 1024 (nozzle panel and each nozzle piece, etc.) can be disassembled, cleaned, repaired, replaced, and repositioned with precision, which greatly reduces the user’s overall machine cost. and long-term use costs. At the same time, the Starfire 1024 printhead has multiple precision calibration positioning points inside and outside, making disassembly and installation precise and easy to operate, reducing the setup and calibration costs when repairing the printhead. The price of Starfire printheads is more than 20,000.

Japan Toshiba CE4M Printhead

The unique technology of ejecting multiple ink droplets onto a single dot creates a wide grayscale range from a minimum of 6 pl to a maximum of 90 pl per dot (15 drops). Compared with traditional binary inkjet heads, it is more suitable for exhibiting smooth density grades from light to dark in various industrial printing.

Epson Printhead

Epson is the most commonly used and longest-lasting printhead for UV flatbed printers. The main advantage of this printhead is its high precision. It is the most precise printhead in the field of UV printers. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages. Its printing speed is relatively slow. The stability is relatively good when used on photo machines, but it is not ideal when used on UV printers. The effect produced by Epson printheads is small and delicate, but everyone should be familiar with Epson printheads. The speed is very slow. The service life is short (normal use time is 7-8 months) and it can barely last a year if used well. It sells for 5,500 yuan to 8,000 yuan each.

Conclusion

The choice of printhead for UV printers depends on factors such as budget, desired print quality, speed requirements, and application versatility. While each type of printhead has its own set of pros and cons, understanding their characteristics can help users make informed decisions to achieve the best results in UV printing.

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